By Chris Parker
First-time head coach Emily Pry takes over the Pierce City volleyball program this year. Last season the Lady Eagles finished with five wins.
While it is her first stint as a high school head coach, Pry has a wealth of other volleyball experience to lean on.
“I am very familiar with the game having played both in club and on the varsity team throughout high school. I have also helped to teach/coach younger girls the sport of volleyball throughout the years,” Pry said.
Ultimately it is the athletes at Pierce City that attracted Pry to taking over.
“There are many talented athletes at Pierce City and having the opportunity to coach and work with these athletes was something I could not pass up,” Pry said. “This team is capable of doing amazing things and I am so excited to be able to be a part of their journey.”
Senior Lexi Eck returns to lead the Pierce City attack after leading the team with 104 kills last season.
“I expect Lexi to be a positive force for the team. Lexi will not only push herself, but that she will push others on the team to be the best they can be and to keep going,” Pry said. “Lexi is a strong hitter and I expect we will see even more from her this year as a senior.”
Sophomore Leslie Jones will be a force in the middle after posting a team-high 63 blocks last year.
“While Leslie has her height to her advantage, it is her ability to read the hitter that is so amazing. Leslie works hard on the court and she is always looking to improve, which continues to drive her towards success,” Pry said.
Junior Jerika Brown will guide the offense at setter after accounting for 157 assists last year.
“Jerika Brown is so influential on the court,” Pry said. “She is not only a great offensive player, but her defense is amazing as well. Jerika’s ability to see the court and call shots will help to propel our Lady Eagles towards success.”
Freshman hitter/setter Riley Gripka and sophomore middle Madison Gripka will also be key factors to the varsity team, as the Eagles look to compete in the new Southwest Conference.
“We have some amazing athletes this season and our team is looking strong,” Pry said. “I am excited to see what we can do this season and expect that we will be a team to be recognized this year.”
Pierce City opens the season on Aug. 24 at home against Wheaton.